Motivation, Emotion, and Stress
1-1 Motivation Basic Concepts
Identify and apply basic motivational concepts to understand behavior with specific attention to instincts for animals, biological factors like drives and homeostasis, and operant conditioning factors like incentives, and intrinsic versus extrinsic motivators.
1-2 Motivation Theories
Compare and contrast the motivational theories of drive reduction theory, arousal theory, and Maslow's hierarchy of needs detailing the strengths and weaknesses of each.
1-3 Motivation Systems
Describe classic research findings in specific motivation systems (e.g., eating, sex, social).
1-4 Theories of Emotion
Compare and contrast the major theories of emotion James–Lange Theory, Cognitive Appraisal Theory, Schachter two-factor theory, Cannon–Bard Theory and Opponent Process Theory.
1-5 Expressed Emotions
Describe how emotions are expressed and how cultural influences shape emotional expression.
1-6 Stress, Stressors and Theories
Discuss sources of stress (conflicts, frustration, etc.), measures of stress, and theories of stress (general adaptation theory)
1-7 Effects of Stress and Coping
Identify the effects of stress on psychological/physical well-being and how to cope with stress
2-1 Information Processing Module (IPM)
Describe the information processing model of memory with specific attention to the following steps:
- Encoding: external stimuli, sensory registers, selective attention, reticular formation, short-term memory
- Storage: long-term memory, explicit memory (semantic and episodic memories) and implicit memories (emotional and procedural memories )
2-2 Improving Memory
Outline principles that help improve memory functioning at each stage:
- encoding - attention, chunking, serial positioning effect, deep versus shallow processing, and rote rehearsal
- storage - decay theory, elaborative rehearsal, spacing effect, method of loci, and link method
- retrieval - retrieval cues and priming
2-3 Biology of Memory
Describe the physiological systems of memory with specific attention to long-term potentiation and the brain regions where memories are stored.
2-4 Forgetting and Memory Construction
Describe specific retrieval problems (anterograde and retrograde amnesia, decay theory, proactive and retroactive interference) and memory construction errors (misinformation effect, eyewitness testimonies, and source amnesia)
History & Science of Psychology
Module 1: Psychology's History
1-1 Describe how psychology developed from it pre-scientific roots to the beginnings of modern science
1-2 Describe some important milestones in psychology's early developments
1-3 Describe how psychology continued to develop from the 1920-today.
Module 2: Psychology's Big Issues/Approaches
2-1 Summarize the nature vs nurture
2-2 Describe the three main levels of analysis and related perspectives.
2-3 Identify psychology main subfields
Module 3: Careers in Psychology
3-1 Describe what psychologist in various profession do and where they work.
Identify the basic parts of the neuron (dendrites, cell body, axon, terminal buttons, synaptic vesicles, and receptor sites.)
4-2 Electric Process of Neural Firing
Describe the electric process of neural firing (ions, resting potential, action potential, threshold of excitation, all-or- none law, sub-threshold excitations, sumnation, absolute refractory period, relative refractory period.)
4-3 Chemical Communication
Describe the chemical process of transmitting a signal between neurons with specific reference to the synapse (synaptic vesicles, synaptic cleft and receptor sites), neurotransmitters (excitatory and inhibitory), drugs (agonists and antagonists) and reuptatke.
Describe the function and disorders related to key neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, acetylcholine, GABA, and norepinephrine.)
4-5 CNS and PNS
Describe the subdivisions and functions of the nervous system:
Central Nervous System
B. Spinal Cord
Peripheral Nervous System
A. Somatic Nervous System
B. Autonomic Nervous System
4-6 Biological Research Strategies
Detail historic and contemporary research strategies and technologies that support research (case studies like Phineas Gage, split-brain research, sleep research (EEGs), structural imaging (CAT Scans and MRIs), and functional imaging (PET scans and fMRIs).
4-7 Endocrine System
Identify key glands of the endocrine system and describe their effects on behavior
4-8 Genetics Explain how heredity and environment work together to shape behavior with specific attention to hereditability and gene-environment interaction.
4-9 Evolutionary Psychology
Explain key behaviors that evolutionary psychologists believe exist because of their adaptive value.
Sensation & Perception
5-1: Principles of Sensation
Discuss basic principles of sensation/bottom up processing with specific attention to sensory transduction, absolute threshold, difference threshold (Weber's Law), signal detection, and sensory adaptation.
Describe the sensory process of vision including the specific nature of energy transduction (rods and cones and the trichromatic theory of color vision), relevant anatomical structures (cornea, pupil, iris, lens, retina, optic nerve, blind spot and fovea) and specialized pathways in the brain (opponent process theory of color vision and the occipital lobe).
Describe the other sensory processes (e.g., hearing, touch, taste, smell, vestibular, kinesthesis,pain), including the specific nature of energy transduction (Frequency Theory, Place Theory, Volley Principle, Gate Control Theory) relevant anatomical structures, and specialized pathways in the brain for each of the senses.
5-4 Sensory Disorders:
Explain common sensory disorders (e.g., visual and hearing impairments).
Describe general principles of perception/ top down processing (organizing and integrating sensation) that promote stable awareness of the external world with specific attention to the Gestalt principles of figure/ground, closure, proximity, connectedness, similarity and the mono and binocular cues for depth perception).
5-6 Influences on Perception
Discuss how experience, context and culture can influence perceptual processes with specific attention to perceptual set, illusions, change blindness, and selective attention.
5-7 Consciousness and Theories of Waking Describe various states of consciousness and their impact on behavior.
5-8 Sleep and Dreams
Discuss aspects of sleep and dreaming:
— stages, characteristics of the sleep cycle and circadian rhythms.
— theories of sleep and dreaming
— symptoms and treatments of sleep disorders
Explain hypnotic phenomena (suggestibility, dissociation, actor-observer effect) and describe historic and contemporary uses of hypnosis (pain control, addiction and psychotherapy).
5-10 Drugs: Identify the major psychoactive drug categories (depressants, stimulants and hallucinogens) and classify specific drugs, including their psychological and physiological effects.
Discuss drug dependence, addiction, tolerance, and withdrawal.
26-1 Define learning, and identify some basic forms of learning.
26-2 Describe the basic components of classical conditioning and explain behaviorisms view of learning.
26-3 Summarize the processes of acquisition, extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization, and discrimination.
26-4 Explain why Pavlov's work remains so important and describe some applications of his work to human health and well being.
27-1 Describe operant conditioning, and explain how operant behavior is reinforced and shaped.
27-2 Discuss the differences between positive and negative reinforcement, and identify the basic types of reinforcers.
27-3 Explain how the different reinforcement schedules affect behavior.
27-4 Discuss how punishment and negative reinforcement differ, and explain how punishment affects behavior.
27-5 Describe the controversy over Skinner's view of human behavior.
6-5 Social Cognitive Learning Theory
Describe the essential characteristics of insight learning, latent learning, and observational learning (vicarious learning, live model, and virtual model)
6-6 Applying Learning
Apply learning principles to explain phobias, taste aversion, superstitious behavior, learned helplessness, and biofeedback.
7-1 Cognition and Concepts
Define cognition and identify how the following interact to form our cognitive life:
schemata/concepts, prototypes, assimilation, accommodation, effortful processing, and
7-2 Problem Solving
Identify problem-solving techniques (algorithms and heuristics) as well as factors that influence their effectiveness (problem representation, mental set and functional fixedness).
7-3 Decision Making
Identify decision making techniques (compensatory models, representativeness heuristics, and availability heuristics) as well as factors that influence decision making (overconfidence, confirmation bias, belief bias, belief perseverance, and hindsight bias)
7-4 Creative Thought
List the characteristics, stages, and ways to foster creative thought.
Synthesize how biological, cognitive and cultural factors converge to facilitate the use of language (phonemes, morphemes, syntax and semantics) and its development (holophrastic stage, telegraphic speech).
Synthesize how biological, cognitive, and cultural factors converge to facilitate the acquisition (critical periods, Universal Inborn Grammar, and Victor/Genie) of language.
7-7 Culture and Non-Human Language
Analyze how culture impacts language (linquistic determinism) and the quality and depth of non-human thought and language-free processing.
10-1 Freud Psychodynamic Theory
Describe Freud’s Triarchic Theory of personality (id, ego and superego) with specific attention to the role of the unconscious, wish-fulfillment, ego ideal, and defense mechanisms and identify how personality develops through the psychosexual stages (oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital).
Compare and contrast Freud’s psychodynamic theories to the theories of the other NeoFreudians (Jung and the collective unconscious, Adler and the inferiority complex, Horney and anxiety).
10-3 Humanistic Theories
Compare and contrast the Humanistic personalities theories to those of the psychoanalytic theorists with specific attention to Roger's self-actualizing tendency and unconditional positive regard and Maslow's self-actualization.
10-4 Cognitive Social Theories
Compare and contrast the psychoanalytic, humanistic and Cognitive-Social Learning Theory with specific attention to Bandura's expectances, performance standards, self-efficacy, locus of control and learned helplessness.
10-5 Trait Theories
Describe the trait theory of personality with specific attention to the Big Five traits of openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
10-6 Personality Testing
Identify frequently used assessment strategies such as objective tests like the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory [MMPI] and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator [MBTI] and projective tests like the Thematic Apperception Test [TAT]), and the Rorschach test and then evaluate their relative quality based on reliability and validity.
8-1 Intelligence Overview
Define intelligence, list characteristics psychologists include in their definition, and discuss how culture influences the definition of intelligence.
8-2 Theories of Intelligence
Compare and contrast historic and contemporary theories of intelligence with specific attention to general intelligence, triarchic theory, crystallized/fluid intelligence, multiple intelligences, emotional intelligence.
8-3 Testing in Psychology
Explain how psychologists design tests, including standardization strategies and other techniques to establish reliability and validity and interpret the meaning of scores in terms of the normal curve.
8-4 Intelligence Testing
Debate the appropriate testing practices, particularly in relation to the Stanford-Binet test, the WISC, the WAIS and culture-fair test uses.
8-5 Mental Retardation and Giftedness
Describe relevant labels related to intelligence testing (e.g., gifted, cognitively disabled, savant).
11-1 Mental Illness and DSM Overview
Describe contemporary and historical conceptions of what constitutes psychological disorders, recognize the use of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as the primary reference for making diagnostic judgments with specific attention to five axis, and identify the positive and negative consequences of diagnostic labels (e.g., the Rosenhan study).
11-2 Mood Disorders
Discuss the major diagnostic category of mood disorders with specific attention to the diagnoses of major depressive disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar I and Bipolar II, detail the defining symptoms of each and identify the best approach(es) for explaining the cause(es) of each.
11-3 Anxiety Disorders
Discuss the major diagnostic category of anxiety disorders with specific attention to the diagnoses of panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, GAD and PTSD, detail the defining symptoms of each and identify the best approach(es) for explaining the cause(es) of each.
11-4 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
Discuss the major diagnostic category of obsessive-compulsive disorders with specific attention to the diagnoses of OCD and BDD, detail the defining symptoms of each and identify the best approach(es) for explaining the cause(es) of each.
11-5 Somatic Disorders
Discuss the major diagnostic category of somatic disorders with specific attention to the diagnoses of somatic symptom disorder, conversion disorder, and illness anxiety disorder, detail the defining symptoms of each and identify the best approach(es) for explaining the cause(es) of each.
11-6 Dissociative Disorders
Discuss the major diagnostic category of dissociative disorders with specific attention to the diagnoses of DID, Dissociative Amnesia (Fugue) and, Depersonalization, detail the defining symptoms of each and identify the best approach(es) for explaining the cause(es) of each.
11-7 Childhood Disorders
Discuss the major diagnostic category of childhood disorders with specific attention to the diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and ODD, detail the defining symptoms of each and identify the best approach(es) for explaining the cause(es) of each.
Discuss the major diagnostic category of schizophrenia detail the defining positive and negative symptoms of each and identify the best approach(es) for explaining the cause(es) of each.
11-9 Personality Disorders
Discuss the major diagnostic category of personality disorders with specific attention to the diagnoses of Paranoid, Schizoid, Schizotypal, Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic, Narcissistic, Avoidant, Dependent, and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorders detail the defining symptoms of each and identify the best approach(es) for explaining the cause(es) of each.
Describe the treatment techniques used in insight therapy (psychoanalysis, client-centered, and gestalt) and summarize the effectiveness of specific treatments for specific disorders.
Describe the treatment techniques used in behavior therapy (systematic desensitization, flooding, aversion therapy, and behavior contracting ) and summarize the effectiveness of specific treatments for specific disorders.
Describe the treatment techniques used in cognitive therapy (stress inoculation, Becki's Cognitive Therapy, and Rational Emotive Therapy) and summarize the effectiveness of specific treatments for specific disorders.
Describe the treatment techniques used in biological therapy and summarize the effectiveness of specific drugs for specific disorders.
9:1 Research Methods
Detail how psychologists study development including longitudinal studies, cross-sectional studies, and autobiographical studies.
9:2 Prenatal Development
Explain the process of conception, gestation (zygote, embryo, and fetus), factors that influence fetal development (teratogens and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome), and the maturation of motor skills.
Explain the maturation of cognitive abilities according to Piaget with specific attention to object permanence in the sensorimotor stage, magical thinking, theory of mind, and the lack of conservation and reversible thinking in the preoperational stage, overcoming the limitations of the preoperational stage in the concrete operational stage, and the development of abstract reasoning in the formal operational stage.
Explain the maturation of cognitive abilities according to Vygotsky with specific attention to zones of proximal development and compare this viewpoint to Piaget.
Explain Erikson's social development paying specific attention to the crisis in each stage and the virtue gained from each stage.
9:6 Social Development
Describe the influence of temperament, attachment, and parenting styles (permissive indulgence, permissive indifferent, authoritarian, authoritative)
9:7 Kolberg and Gilligan
Compare and contrast Kohlberg and Gilligan’s models of moral development.
Discuss maturational challenges in adolescence and the formation of identity (foreclosure, diffusion and moratorium).
Predict the physical and cognitive changes that emerge as people age.
9:10 Gender Development and Sexual Orientation
How are humans developing a gender identify and a sexual orientation in today's society? What impact does this process have on the self and the group?
12-1 Attribution Theory
Apply attribution theory to explain the behavior of others with specific attention to the fundamental attribution error, self-serving bias, just-world hypothesis and differences between collectivistic and individualistic cultures.
12-2 Attitude Formation
Discuss attitude formation and how attitudes change with specific attention to schema, primacy effect, cognitive dissonance and the central and peripheral routes to persuasion.
12-3 Impact of Others
Predict the impact of others on individual behavior with specific attention to deindividuation, the self-fulfilling prophecy, the bystander effect and social facilitation.
Explain how individuals respond to expectations of conformity.
Explain how individuals respond to expectations of compliance.
12-6 Group Behavior
Describe the structure and function of different kinds of group behavior with specific attention to group polarization and group think.
12-7 Group Treatment
Describe processes that contribute to differential treatment of group members with specific attention to attraction, altruism, aggression, in-group/out-group dynamics, ethnocentrism, prejudice.